The Malawi Police Service (MPS) says it is investigating artist Mwiza Chavura after a public outcry over lyrics of his controversial song about rape.
The hip-hop musician has come under fire for releasing a song that is not only mocking women but promoting rape.
The artist has since issued an apology which some sections argue lacks sincerity and remorse.
In the song titled Rape, Chavura partially sings: “Agwiliridwe basi, nanenso wina ndizamupanga rape, kukamwa kwake ndikumumata tape…”
In an interview yesterday MPS national child protection officer Alexander Ngwala, said action will be taken on the matter.
“Appropriate measures will be taken very soon. Arresting is part of the measures. We are working on the measures right now,” he said.
MPS is involved in the matter “through other interested defenders of rights of women and children and also via social media,” according to Ngwala.
Fellow hip hop artist Mandela Mwanza is among the artists that have publicly condemned the song.
He said: “I don’t understand how you can have a mother and still take rape lightly enough to do a whole song about raping women. Apart from my anger towards him, I’m so disappointed in Malawimusic.com which I respect so much. I wonder why they uploaded that song and even worse, proudly tag it? Please, kindly remove it as a show of respect to our mothers, sisters and daughters.”
The song has, meanwhile, been taken down from Malawimusic.com.
“The @pastorchavura song has been removed from the site. If you have it please delete it. It was an error on our part to upload such content. The views of the artist do not necessarily reflect the views of Malawimusic.com and the people that work there,” wrote the website on its Twitter account.
In defence, Chavura issued a subtle apology through a post on Facebook where he also commented on how he sees no issue with his song.
“I would like to apologise to all women I have offended with my song. I didn’t know it is going to offend women, and I didn’t know the concept would be misunderstood. I apologise to Malawimusic.com for putting them in a complicated situation, and would like all websites that uploaded the song to take it down,” he said.
“Sorry, I will avoid such songs. The song is just an imagination it’s not particularly involving any woman, it’s not meant for anyone to take seriously, like all other songs. The song has been banned, basi let’s move on with our lives. Most of you have lots of problems to fix at home and work,” he commented on the post.
As debate on the post continued, he commented again: “Akuti [understand] some are taking the song to court, though they have no case because the song was written ‘explicit content’. I didn’t make the song to offend anyone.
“Well to me music is like a movie, movies will have some rape scenes, it’s not there to offend anyone. But if someone has been offended, sorry that was not my intention, and am not rapping about raping anyone in particular. It can be an imaginary girl.”
In an interview, Chavura briefly said: “That song is a series to fight against rape, that’s the other part of it, it’s not encouraging rape in any way. No statement of the song encourages rape. It states the mind set of people who rape and the results they face.” He said while ignoring further questions.
Meanwhile, Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM)women’s desk president Martha Mituka described Chavura as a disgrace.
In a Facebook post, Mituka said she was going to face Chavura in court over the issue if he did not delete his song and apologise.
“I am ready to fight for fellow women and young girls” she wrote.
Similarly, Women’s Legal Resources Centre (Wolrec) has condemned the song calling the development retrogressive.
In a statement the organisation said the song is insulting the modesty of women and girls and therefore asked the Malawi Censorship board to ban the song.
Rights activist Billy Mayaya also condemned Chavura on his Facebook page.
“While we know there’s freedom of expression, we have to express ourselves responsibly. Let’s avoid imageries of violence,” he said. n